Citrus-Brined Grilled Pork Chops - Memorial Day is Grilling Day!

Memorial Day is one of the most celebrated holidays in America, and it's also a day made for grilling. Whether you're hosting or attending, there are always plenty of items on the menu because Memorial Day is Grilling Day! This year, we're taking it up a notch with these Citrus-Brined Grilled Pork Chops. It's all about soaking them in fresh orange, lime, and lemon to moisten and bring out the savory goodness of the pork. This easy and delicious recipe will have your mouth watering before you even taste it!

You won't believe how simple this is to make, all thanks to the citrusy-salty brine. The pork chops stay moist and tender for the grill, and the fruit adds refreshing zing. You'll be blown away by the result of brining the chops in a mixture of salt, citrus fruit, garlic, black peppercorns, and honey. Before grilling, rub the pork chops with a combination of salt, pepper, paprika, and brown sugar, which will caramelize and create a tasty crust. Grill over medium-high heat until cooked through and lovely. Serve and get ready for the praise because these are the most tender and juicy chops your friends and family have had! So get ready for your three-day weekend and prep the grill because Memorial Day is Grilling Day!

Serves 4

Citrus-Brined Grilled Pork Chops Ingredients

For the Brine

  • 1/2 white onion, quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup Morton kosher salt (or 1/3 cup table salt)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 orange, halved
  • 1 lime, halved
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups ice
  • 4 (8- to 10-ounce) boneless pork chops, trimmed of any fat

For the Rub

  • 1 tablespoon Morton kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Neutral oil for the grill

Citrus-Brined Grilled Pork Chops Directions

For the Brine

  1. In a medium pot, combine the onion, garlic, salt, honey, peppercorns, orange, lime, and lemon. Add two cups of water and bring to a slight simmer over medium-high heat. Stir until the honey and salt are dissolved.
  2. Remove from heat and add ice to chill the mixture to at least room temperature.
  3. Once cool, transfer the brine to a large dish and add the pork chops. The pork chops should be covered by the brine. If they aren’t, use a small plate or bowl to keep them in the brine.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 60 minutes, but longer is preferable. Don't let them brine for longer than 24 hours—otherwise, the proteins in the pork will start to cure, and you'll end up with something closer to ham.


  1. When ready to grill, remove pork chops from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Stir together the spices for the rub in a small bowl, and season the pork chops liberally with the rub.
  2. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat and rub the grill grates with some neutral oil on a clean rag (or a few paper towels) to prevent sticking.
  3. Place the pork chops on the grill and grill for 5 to 6 minutes on the first side. If you'd like pretty crosshatched grill marks, rotate the pork chop 90-degrees after 3 minutes.
  4. Flip pork chop and cook on the second side for another 4 to 6 minutes. The pork chops are done when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the chops registers 145°F. (This is the FDA recommended cooking temperature, and it will give you slightly pink pork chops in the center).
  5. If your pork chops are thicker than 3/4-inch, they will need a few minutes longer on the grill, and you'll have to watch the thermometer until they are done.
  6. Transfer the cooked chops to a plate and let them rest for about five minutes before serving.
  7. Slice and serve the chops with grilled fruit such as pineapple and a green side dish such as grilled Brussels sprouts (grilled in a grill pan over high heat for a few minutes until charred in spots)!

Taken from